Three Minutes of Silence (Again)

by Dian Reid-Jancic· Follow Dian on

The last couple of weeks have found me taking a look at patterns in my life. Some of them work for me, others… not so much. One of the patterns that’s worked for me at various points in my life is meditation. It calms me, soothes my mind and soul, and creates clarity throughout my being. And even though I know this, the pattern I’ve been following recently has been avoiding meditation like cats avoid the vacuum cleaner. 

I’ve been making excuses like: “I don’t have enough time…” (I’ve been very busy funking out) or “I neeeeed to write this blog post first…” (and proceeded to find excuses not to write any blog posts) or “Just one more game of Angry Birds…” (see excuse marked’I don’t have enough time’). Sometimes I even skipped the excuses altogether and let the two-year-old in my mind take over: “I just don’t WANNA!” followed by a little temper tantrum, kicking and screaming included. Which actually worked fine for the Funk, but I’m not in the Funk anymore.

Funk begone, I’ve decided to move slowly back into a meditation practice. Three minutes at a time, for the next thirty days (for starters). Anxiety creeps around making the commitment. What if I fall off the wagon? I wonder. The excuses line up, excited for roll call. I tell them they’re not needed today, that they can go home and get some shut-eye, I’ve got some meditating to do. Today it works.

::

I plugged in my headphones, cued up a 3-minute track of waves and birds I recorded during a session of Thrivin’ Tuesdays last year and got silent. It’s amazing how quickly three minutes pass. I barely had time to think about all the things I was missing out on while I sat on my ass doing nothing in the middle of the living room.

I became aware of my body and my mind. Of the tension in my shoulders. The judgment in my thoughts (even though I’d given myself full permission to race around and think about whatever I wanted to for these three minutes). My thoughts were timid and shy, wondering if it was okay to come out and play. I heard myself think: I should be thinking something powerful right now! Instead, I relaxed my shoulders and wandered.

Eyes closed, images played with thoughts and weaved in and out of focus: Standing on the beach, recorder held out over the waves… moving away from noisy men I thought had ruined my recording… a movement in the house… a cat in the bathtub… the shower door, water droplets gliding down the glass… did I squeegee when I got out of the shower?… I really should be focusing here… anxiety… judgment… breathe… release… relax… allow……

::

This commitment I’ve made to myself is simple: Three minutes of silence. Every day. For the next 30 days. And so I don’t try to complicate it with overdoing it or mind tricks, I’ve also laid out a simple plan for what to do in my 3 minutes every day:

  • Days 1-10: Permission to wander and observe. Be open.
  • Days 11-20: Permission to focus. One word or phrase—the first that comes to mind.
  • Days 21-30: Permission to silence the mind. Just listen.

That is all.

I may or may not tweet using #3MoS to share my journey with you. You’re certainly welcome to follow along and even join in. I hope you will.

  • Brittney

    Posting this on here, too, just ’cause…

    You are my Yoda today, Dian. I followed in your footsteps after I read this. The first minute, I would just as soon have ripped my eyeballs out rather than spend that time with myself. The second minute, I noticed the trees outside my windo…w and thought about all the books I wanted to buy. The third minute, I compared my thoughts to a dog chasing its tail and got dizzy as I envisioned that. I sat for a couple extra minutes, cried a little to release all that pent up energy, and realized meditating wasn’t so scary, after all.

    To sum up, thank you for your witty and insightful post (as they always are). I’m proud of you for constantly growing, acknowledging that growth, and for sharing it with us. 🙂

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